A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

It’s not immediately evident when this Victorian seaside home was built, which is a testament to its timeless design.

Drawing on a materials palette popularised by modernist architects including Harry Seidler and Richard Neutra, there’s certainly a mid-century quality to the design, but one that’s entirely suited to its coastal environment, and contemporary family life.

The house was designed and documented at Nest Architects and continued through the construction stage by Placement. Their practical vision was to create a family home that could grow and shrink as required.

‘At the time the three kids were at an age where they would be living at home, but in the next few years they would soon finish high school and subsequently leave the nest. The home needed to be adaptable for the coming future, where most bedrooms would be empty for most of the year,’ explains Stephanie Kitingan, director and architect at Placement.

This intent fed into how the plan was resolved, culminating in a bedroom wing that could be blocked off for privacy, or rented out in future as accommodation.

From an architectural perspective, the house plays with mass to frame views and recreate the privacy of the client’s previous home. ‘There seem to be two masses – the base and the roof – broken up by a continuous expanse of glazing. It provides a delicate expression to the otherwise heavy tectonics of the house,’ says Stephanie.

White brick provides further lightness to the solid masonry, while spotted gum timber emits a sense of warmth. The external fascia colour was originally specified to match the brick, however as the project neared completion, the clients had a strong desire for a green fascia (Dulux Deep Reed). This colour ties in perfectly with the thriving garden by Akas Landscape Architecture.

Interior spaces are open, but contain several built-in seating areas to offer a sense of refuge.

This is a forever home – a place the owners can grow old in, and enjoy time close to friends, family, and of course, the beach!

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